According to a new study conducted by the Harris Poll and e-commerce tech company Rokt, Gen Z are keen to make use of AI when it comes to shopping online. 

The study, which surveyed just over 6,000 consumers ages 18-78 over two weeks in May of this year, found that 88% of global Gen Z respondents think AI can improve online shopping. Additionally, over half (55%) expressed particular interest in using an AI assistant that would help them discover products and cater to their shopping-related needs and desires.

From a marketing perspective, this study clearly strengthens support for e-commerce as a use case for AI. Ever since ChatGPT exploded onto the scene late last year, marketers have been looking for ways to incorporate new AI technology into their businesses. Some have used it as an advertisement in itself, flaunting their use of AI in campaigns, while others have pointed it toward internal processes, such as data analysis and brainstorming. 

The second takeaway for marketers is a greater understanding of what moves Gen Z. That the cohort appears not only tolerant of AI but also genuinely excited about how the technology could improve one of its favorite pastimes, offers a welcome pulse check on a generation that marketers often fail to regard accurately.

Saving money also seems like a top priority for Gen Z shoppers with nearly half (47%) of Gen Z respondents naming price-comparing as a top area in which AI will improve online shopping, while 45% named deal-finding as a top area. Moreover, 35% of Gen Zers believe that AI shopping assistants will simplify product discovery.

Interestingly, however, the usefulness of AI appears to stem from friction that consumers at large face when shopping online today. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of U.S. consumers say they experience frustration or barriers at checkout, the study found, up to 40% of which reconsidered their purchases as a result. These barriers include too many ads, the requirement of logging into or making an account and irrelevant product recommendations.

Millenials also support the case with 86% thinking that AI could improve online shopping, compared to a similar 88% of Gen Z, and 52% of global millennial respondents express an interest in an AI shopping assistant, compared with 55% of Gen Z.

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